Nominating panel members for the Research Excellence Framework 2021


​Update (27th March)

The deadline for nominations to the REF expert panels has been lifted, as announced on 24 March on the REF website here: It is explained that an ‘appropriate notice period will be given when a new deadline is in place’. This means that BAFTSS has also lifted its deadline for nominations. The process for submission, which is given below in our post/email of 22 March, remains the same. We will continue to take nominations for consideration, and when the REF nomination deadline is announced we will revise our own deadline accordingly.


Update (20th March)


The four UK funding bodies are currently inviting nominations from subject associations and organisations for further members and assessors for the REF sub-panels, as a result of the panels’ analysis of their expertise requirements following data provided by HE institutions on their submission intentions. Further appointments will ensure that each sub-panel has an appropriate breadth of expertise. For further information see the REF website at, which gives guidance on the nomination process, and links to details about the specific areas of expertise being sought for each sub-panel. The deadline is currently 12pm on 3 April.

For each sub-panel, a list of subject areas have been identified, alongside the encouragement of nominations of candidates from under-represented groups (which are specified for particular sub-panels here:

BAFTSS therefore invites interested candidates to put forward their names to ONE of the discipline-relevant subject areas. To express your interest you should send the following to Andrew Moor (BAFTSS Chair) and James Leggott (BAFTSS Vice Chair) at and by 27 March:

  1. a statement (up to 1000 words) demonstrating why you are a good candidate for a specific REF sub-panel, clearly indicating which of the required subject areas you have expertise in, and giving evidence for this. 

  2. a CV

  3. (where appropriate) a statement indicating which of the specified under-represented groups you identify with. Please note that this information will help BAFTSS decide who to nominate, and that priority will be given to applicants from the specified under-represented groups.

  4. a completed BAFTSS equality and diversity form (attached to this email).


Please note that if you have already been nominated by BAFTSS in a previous round, and indicated that you wished to be considered in this round, there is no need to apply again.

Nomination Process

Members of the expert panels for the Research Excellence Framework (REF) 2021 will be appointed through a nomination process, details of which are here.


​As one of REF2021’s nominating organisations, BAFTSS has now been invited to propose panel members in the following categories:

  • additional members of REF2020 Main Panel D (with expertise in leading, commissioning or making use of interdisciplinary research, leading research internationally, or senior level experience in the commissioning, use or wider benefits of research)

  • members and assessors on sub-panels 32, 33 and 34 (including practising researchers, individuals with expertise in commissioning, applying or making use of research, and interdisciplinary advisers).

Further information on the panel structure, the roles, responsibilities and workload of panel members and the criteria for appointment can be found in the publication ‘Roles and recruitment of expert panels’ (REF 2017/03) available here. Please ensure you consult this information carefully before contacting us.

If you wish BAFTSS to consider you as a nominee, please complete our REF Nomination Form and with a copy of your CV to the Chair of BAFTSS, Dr. Andrew Moor ( by 23 November 2017.


Action on Equality and Diversity

There is no limit on the number of individuals we can nominate and we are encouraged to consider a wide range of individuals to cover the full breadth of our research interests.

The four UK funding bodies are seeking nominations of candidates from a diverse range of backgrounds, institution types and geographical region and BAFTSS is pleased to note that they welcome nominations of candidates from groups previously under-represented on assessment panels: women, people from black and ethnic minority backgrounds, and disabled people. We are particularly keen to reach out and to encourage applications from people who identify as belonging to these groups.

Please see and complete the following equality and diversity form:

Equality and Diversity Monitoring Form


Roles and Recruitment

Details on the roles and recruitment of panels are here.

The published criteria that the funding bodies will use for appointing sub-panels for the REF are as follows:

(a) Each sub-panel should include expertise across the main fields of research within the UOA, and its membership should collectively command the respect of the relevant research and wider communities.

(b) The sub-panel members should have appropriate expertise to contribute to the development of the criteria across the sub-panel’s remit, with an ability to understand and appreciate a diverse range of research topics and approaches. Appropriate expertise includes interdisciplinary research and expertise in the wider use or benefits of research.

(c) Each sub-panel will have at least one appointed member with a specific role to oversee and participate in the assessment of interdisciplinary research submitted in that UOA, to ensure its equitable assessment. We expect to make further appointments of members with this role in the assessment phase

(d) The diversity of the research community in the relevant fields should be reflected in the sub-panel membership.

(e) Sub-panels will be composed predominantly of practising researchers, and will include individuals with expertise in the use or benefits of research.

(f) Sub-panel members will be appointed on the basis of their personal experience and expertise, not as representatives of any group or interest.

(g) There should be an appropriate degree of continuity in the sub-panel’s membership from previous assessment exercises. Where possible at least a third of the members of the sub-panel will have REF or RAE panel experience; and at least a third will not have served on REF or RAE panels.


Selection of Nominations

With the preceding REF2021 appointment criteria in mind, BAFTSS will use the following selection criteria when assessing applications for nomination from practicing researchers:


Ability to carry the confidence of BAFTSS members

  • Extensive experience of peer review

  • Experience of assessing research quality standards

  • Understanding and experience of impact & public engagement

  • Understanding and experience of equitable assessment procedures

  • Understanding of and commitment to equality and diversity issues


Strong Standing in the Community

  • Evidence of conducting leading research

  • Other evidence of strong standing in the academic community


BAFTSS will submit its nominations directly to REF2021 and will inform the applicants whom we have nominated by 20 December 2017. We regret that we are unable to notify other applicants, and because of the anticipated number of applications we are unable to give feedback on the nomination decisions made. We are hugely aware of the commitment that it takes to put yourself forward for these demanding roles, and would like to thank those of you who do apply for demonstrating such excellent academic citizenship.


Andrew Moor, Chair, BAFTSS (1 November 2017)


Joint Statement from the British Association of Film, Television and Screen Studies (BAFTSS) and the Media, Communication and Cultural Studies Association (MeCCSA)

HEFCE recently announced their initial decisions on REF2021. This included naming Film and Screen Studies explicitly in sub-panel 33 (Music, Dance, Drama, Performing Arts, Film and Screen Studies). Whilst both subject associations are pleased to see Film and Screen Studies named for the first time (something each association called for in their submissions to the REF2021 consultation), it is possible that explicitly separating Film and Screen Studies from UoA34 (Media, Communication, Cultural Studies, Library and Information Management) will create confusion amongst both panels and submitting units. The position regarding audio-visual practice based research also requires greater clarity, since institutions return this to UoA32 (Art and Design: History, Practice and Theory), UoA33 and UoA34. We wish to avoid any harmful division of research across these fields.

Both associations recognise the difference in histories and traditions across our subject areas and agree it is vitally important that these should be addressed by both sub-panels 33 and 34 ensuring that they are subject to the same criteria of assessment. We fully expect that UoA34 will continue to welcome submissions from all parts of the field including Film and Screen Studies and that both UoA33 and UoA34 will be as inclusive as possible to reflect the rich diversity of the field. We want to ensure that Universities have the confidence to submit to whichever panel they feel best fits the range of research they do in a highly interdisciplinary field.

We will be writing to HEFCE about these concerns and request that both the sub-panel chairs and sub-panel members seek to address them.

Natalie Fenton (Chair, MeCCSA)

Andrew Moor (Chair, BAFTSS)



Joint Statement Regarding Applications to Chair REF2021 UOA Sub-Panels 

Scholarly Associations such as ours are pleased to consider requests to endorse applications to chair UOA sub-panels for REF2021. We expect that applicants will approach the associations they most closely identify with for letters of recommendation, but HEFCE encourages applicants to gather expressions of support from across the full breadth of disciplines covered by the UOA they are interested in. Each of us will therefore gladly consider requests from individuals applying to serve on any UOAs that fall within our broad purview. HEFCE asks Associations to affirm the applicant’s good standing in the community and the ability to carry the confidence of key stakeholders. Applicants should therefore present evidence that demonstrates this.

We ask those intending to apply to send their application and CV to Association Chairs by 5:00 pm on 22nd September. Each of our Associations will then considered requests among themselves (no information about applications or decisions will be shared between our Associations). Letters will be sent to applicants by 28th September.

In the event that an Association decides (by a simple majority of its Executive Committee) that an applicant does not have appropriate standing in the community and the ability to carry the confidence of key stakeholders, applicants will be informed by 28th September.

       BAFTSS response to REF2021 Consultation (March 2017).